Full text: Ownership as interpersonal dominance

dominance, and the importance of subordination. Biggers and Rankis (1983) concluded from 
personality research that dominance is based on group permission: 
Based on these findings, we will suggest that dominance can be behaviorally 
conceptualized as permission to behave. Individuals who feel dominant (mastery, control) 
in a situation feel that they have tacit approval, or permission, to enact a broader range of 
behaviors or, to more fully enact a single behavior. (Biggers & Rankis, 1983, p. 67) 
from these discussions, it would seem that dominance is similar to power. In Ellyson and 
Dovidio’s (1985) introductory review in their edited volume Power, Dominance, and Nonverbal 
Behavior, the point is well made that power is the control and influence of others that comes 
from controlling resources. Manz and Gioia (1983) similarly describe power as based on 
resource control: 
The crux of the argument that follows Is that the control of needed organizational resources 
(i.e. “resource control”) is the basis for the possession of power, and that the possession 
of power then serves as the basis for yet another type of control, the control of individuals 
or organizational subunits (i.e. “personal control”). Thus, resource control -- > power -- > 
personal control. (Manz & Gioia, 1983, p. 463) 
If dominance were equated with power, then the hypothesis of this thesis would seem to be true 
by definition rather than by empirical demonstration. 
However, dominance will be retained as the critical concept in this thesis research, and it 
will be used in the evaluatively neutral but primary sense of control. Dominance is more 
situated than power; it refers to interpersonal relationships, usually involving psychological 
People can exert control over others because they have something -either rewards or 
punishments- the others don’t have. Power is thus based on the control of resources and 
on their defense...Dominance is sometimes used to mean power...but it has a connotation 
of more blatancy, and refers more often to individuals and individual relationships. In 
psychological usage it often describes a personality tendency to seek to influence and 
control others. (Henley, 1977, pp. 19-20) 
Moskowitz (1982) found that dominance defined as control had high coherence and high 
cross-situational generality. Dominance as control accords well with common English usage, 
as seen in these dictionary definitions of what it means to be dominant: 
Ruling, governing, controlling, having or exerting authority or influence (Random House 
Dictionary of the English Language, 1966, p. 424) 
Exercising the most influence or control. (American Heritage Dictionary of the English 
Language, 1970, p. 390) 
Commanding, controlling, or having supremacy or ascendancy over all others by reason 
of superior strength or power. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1981, p. 671)

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